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Building Neuroinclusive Learning Environments: Best Practices to Support and Empower Neurodiverse Learners in STEM

February 15 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm CST

*This course is at capacity and closed for registration as of Thursday, January 11*

Learn neurodiversity basics including the strengths and challenges people with differently wired brains have in the classroom and how these differences intersect with other aspects of peoples’ identities. Participants will also learn about both low and high input changes to their classrooms that will help them harness the strengths of their students. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the stigma associated with neurodiversity as well as their personal experiences. By the end of this short course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify different functions of the neurodivergent individuals including their strengths and challenges they might navigate in the higher education context
  • Recognize and apply strength based and avoid deficit approach in teaching, communication, and advising
  • Apply a variety of techniques to enhance the students’ engagement in the field of STEM using Strength-Based approach
  • Design or revise a course component to support the success of neurodiverse learners in undergraduate or graduate programs


Rachel Prunier, University of Connecticut
Sarira Motaref, University of Connecticut
Connie Syharat, University of Connecticut

Course Schedule

This 4-week course meets online on Thursdays from February 15 to March 7 at 1-2:30pm Atlantic / 12-1:30pm Eastern / 11am-12:30pm Central / 10-11:30am Mountain / 9-10:30am Pacific.


Participants will need to do some work outside of sessions, including work on their redesigned course component.


This seminar is designed first and foremost for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, instructional staff, and faculty in STEM/SBE disciplines, but generally relevant to anyone interested in learning how to support neurodiverse learners.

Registration and Enrollment

Update: This course is at capacity and closed for registration as of Thursday, January 11. Registrants will be notified of their enrollment status by Thursday, January 18.

This short course has a cap of 25 students. Registration is open from Monday, January 8, until capacity is reached or until Thursday, February 8, whichever comes first. Registration will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and registrants from CIRTL member institutions or alumni of CIRTL member institutions will receive priority. Once registration closes, all registrants will be notified of their enrollment status.


If you have access needs, please let us know what they are. Contact Kate Diamond (, who is supporting this course, to let us know how we can help you have a successful experience. In addition to meeting individualized needs, we will also take measures throughout the course to support accessibility for all our students:

  • Using alt-text on images in reading materials
  • Sending weekly reminders with upcoming assignments to all students
  • Sending weekly reminders with missing assignments to students who have late work
  • Sharing materials for synchronous sessions with students via Moodle (slides, breakout group activity instructions, etc.)
  • Enabling live captioning in synchronous sessions
  • Incorporating multiple modes of interaction into synchronous sessions
  • Sharing recordings from synchronous sessions
  • Allowing students to make up absences and submit work late with no penalty

Learning Outcomes

All CIRTL Network programming is designed to help participants achieve familiarity with our Core Ideas. This seminar is designed around the following learning outcomes.

Associate: Evidence-based teaching

  • Describe several known high-impact, evidence-based effective instructional practices and materials and recognize their alignment with particular types of learning goals.

Associate: Learning community

  • Describe several techniques and issues of establishing learning communities comprising a diverse group of learners.
  • Describe several techniques for creating a learning community within a learning environment, including strategies that promote positive interdependence between learners so as to accomplish learning goals.

Associate: Learning-through-diversity

  • Describe and recognize the value of drawing on diversity in the development of teaching plans (including content, teaching practices and assessments) to foster learning.
  • Describe how an instructor’s beliefs and biases can influence student learning.
  • Describe the impact of diversity on student learning, in particular how diversity can enhance learning, and how inequities can negatively impact learning if not addressed.
  • Describe the scope of diversity in learning environments, of both students and instructor.